Gymnast Hong Un-jong earned the first North Korean gold in a sport other than weightlifting today on the sixth day of action at the Asian Games, defeating 39-year-old Uzbek Oksana Chusovitina in the women's vault final.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic champion, Hong was always the favourite to winner but the presence of the evergreen Chusovitina, who started her career representing the Soviet Union at the 1991 World Championships, when most of her rivals today were not even born.
Hong was two at the time.
Chusovitina won gold at Barcelona 1992 Unified Team following the Soviet break-up, and then competed for Uzbekistan before obtaining German citizenship in 2006, only to switch back to the Asian country after London 2012.
Battling the effects of debilitating foot injury sustained during training, she opted to forgo the all-round event here and instead focus all of her energy on the vault.
Despite visibly limping, she performed well, setting a mark of 14.750 that was surpassed only by Hong, who produced two superb vaults to win with a combined total of 15.349 and end a barren period in which she has struggled to win major titles on the international stage.
Vietnamese Thi Ha Thanh Phan took the final place on the podium with a score of 14.683.
While the political significance of the North Korean victory added extra spice, the day's final word went to the Uzbek, who afterwards declared that "age is just a number" and that she is still competing out of sheer love for the sport.
"I hope to make my seventh Olympic game in Rio de Janeiro ," she added.
Elsewhere, there were titles shared around on the first day of gymnastics apparatus finals, with London 2012 Olympic champion, Zou Kai of China winning on the floor and Masayoshi Yamamoto of Japan triumphing on the vault, with before two further Chinese titles, courtesy of Yao Jinnan on the uneven bars and Liao Junnin on the rings.
Different nations also succeeded in the pool, where Singapore's Joseph Schooling converted his Commonwealth Games silver into Asian Games gold in the 100 metres butterfly, before Kazakhstan's Dmitry Baladin won for the second night in a row, this time in the 100m breaststroke
But there was also more of the same, with Shen Duo winning her fourth gold medal of the Games for China in the 200m freestyle before Kosuke Hagino did likewise, leading Japan to success in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
It was China's day yet again elsewhere, as the nation won its 100th medal and its 50th gold before continuing to win, a steamroller that has no intention of ever stopping.
As well as four more titles in the pool, they won five in wushu, four in rowing, two in weightlifting and one in the women's round-robin water polo competition
South Korea also had a good day to maintain second place on the table, with two more team fencing victories supplemented by three wins in shooting, as well as one each in wushu and rowing, while an emphatic baseball victory over Taiwan added further cause for celebration.
While most of the medals were won in a frantic later afternoon and early evening period, the day was dictated by the two tennis team competitions, taking place under stormy skies on the first day of the Games on which rain fell.
Rain was never too heavy for action to be seriously affected but added to the drama as Taiwan held off a Chinese fightback to win a six-hour epic women's final before Kazakhstan overcame the same opponents in the men's event.
This showed that occasionally China can be beaten but, as they recovered from each defeat with a flurry of victories elsewhere, there remains no doubt who the top dog is in Asian and, perhaps, even world sport.
Evidence of this was provided by the fact they have qualified for the semi-finals in women's cricket, a sport in which they have virtually no heritage, as they are joined in the last four by the three more established nations of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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